Around 42,000 Syrians in Türkiye voluntarily went home since quakes: Defense chief


Hulusi Akar dismisses claims of refugee influx into Türkiye from southern border with Syria after powerful Feb. 6 earthquakes

Around 42,000 Syrians in Türkiye have returned to their home country across the border since the Feb. 6 earthquakes centered in Türkiye's southern region, the Turkish national defense minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking in the quake-hit Hatay province, Hulusi Akar rebuffed claims that there has been an influx of Syrian refugees to Türkiye via its southern border, calling them "untrue."

Akar said many Syrian citizens living in Türkiye are returning to their home country due to the loss of their homes and relatives.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes were centered in Kahramanmaras and struck 10 other Turkish provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa. More than 13 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the devastating quakes.

Parts of northwestern Syria were also hit by the quakes, but the damage is not as widespread and the death toll not as high as in southern Türkiye.

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